In April 2023, Providence will begin construction of Providence Alaska House, a supportive housing and recuperative care (SHARC) resource for people aged 55 and older experiencing homelessness. Located at 4900 Eagle Street in Anchorage, Providence Alaska House will include 45 units of permanent supportive housing and six recuperative care units. The housing program is scheduled to begin accepting applications in April 2024 and will open in July 2024. “Providence Alaska House” is a temporary working name for the housing program. Discernment has begun for a permanent name that will reflect the intended purpose of the program and the people and culture of Alaska.
The SHARC model is a Providence innovation that combines housing and health care resources for people experiencing homelessness. The model leverages housing as an incentive, intervention and benefit and incorporates intensive case management and supportive services to help residents achieve safety, stability, and community. In addition to applicants referred by the local coordinated entry program, homeless patients occupying acute care hospital beds who no longer require this level of care may be referred to the SHARC as a safe place to recuperate. “The SHARC model is the product of health care and housing professionals coming together and creating a thoughtful approach to care and housing for a population that is underserved by both industries,” noted Providence Supportive Housing Executive Director, Tim Zaricznyj.
According to the Alaska Homeless Management Information System (AKHMIS) more than 16,000 individual Alaskans accessed one or more resources for people experiencing homelessness in the past year, including more than 10,000 individuals in the Municipality of Anchorage. Statewide, nearly 3,000 of those individuals experiencing homelessness are aged 55 or older. “Homelessness among seniors in Anchorage and Alaska is at crisis levels, leading to disproportionately poor health outcomes among an already vulnerable population of Alaskan elders,” noted Nathan Johnson, senior director of community health investment programs for Providence Alaska.
Providence Alaska House will be owned and operated by Providence Supportive Housing. Project partners include Cook Inlet Housing Authority, development manager; Spark Design, architect; and Davis Constructors and Engineers, general contractor. Funding was provided by:
- Rasmuson Foundation
- Weidner Apartment Homes
- Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
- Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
- Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act and Community Development Block Grant via Cook Inlet Housing Authority
- American Rescue Plan Act funds via the Municipality of Anchorage
- Federal Community Project funds secured by the Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski.
On-site service partners for Providence Alaska House will include Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness and Catholic Social Services.
Providence Supportive Housing is comprised of 18 affordable housing programs in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and California that include service coordination to support the needs of low-income seniors, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness. This ministry of Providence reflects the legacy of the Sisters of Providence and their founder, Mother Emilie Gamelin whose earliest work began in 1827 housing elderly widows in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Providence understands that housing is the fundamental social determinant of health; that housing is health.
Providence is a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 52 hospitals, over 900 clinics, senior services, supportive housing, and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ nearly 120,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, with system offices in Renton, Washington, and Irvine, California.
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